The annual SCM graduate program’s community gathering event was held this year on Tuesday, November 28. It’s considered the program’s most eagerly anticipated evening of the academic year, because it offers current students and teaching assistants the opportunity to connect with alumni from the program in a more intimate and personal setting. More than just a networking opportunity, however, the gathering also provided a motivational benefit to current students, allowing them to hear how each of the evening’s guests overcame personal challenges on their journey to career success.
The event began with a greeting from the school’s new director, Dr. Keith Strudler, who stressed the importance of smaller events such as that evening’s program, which offer students the opportunity for a deeper and meaningful dialogue on topics that are important to them on a personal level that simply wouldn’t be possible at a larger gala-type event.
Lisa Allen, a current graduate student, hosted the panel discussion, which featured six graduates from the program –Kate Bernyk – Communication Advisor to Chirlane McCray, the First Lady of NYC; Joel Torres – President of Jersey City’s Board of Education, Eileen Cruz – Administrative Services Director at RSR Partners, Winnie De Moya – Social Media Marketing Manager for Penguin Random House Audio, Sara Brisolla – Marketing Associate for Eastern Marketing, and Juleen Wang – Student Service Specialist at the School of Business at MSU.
The panel discussion ran the gamut of topics, including the effective use of social media in advertising, the most efficient way to get noticed by hiring directors, how one markets a brand, the most important skills needed to develop effectively in the communication field, and how marketing and social media have affected politics. Afterward, the floor was opened for students and faculty to ask questions of the alumni panel which resulted in a lively discussion.
Students left that evening satisfied that they had been able to put some of the concerns they had about their field of study. They left motivated to work harder, and they left with a handful of business cards and invaluable connections that will serve them well when they graduate and start their career journeys.